QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded

Musée Mécanique

This San Francisco museum has a collection of old coin-operated games and such. Fortune tellers, an arm wrestling machine, and many more. Admission is free, but the machines still need coins. There is a java app offering a virtual tour of the museum.


Big Brutus

This is the second largest electric shovel in the world, designated a Regional Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and now functioning as a museum dedicated to the strip mining heritage of Kansas.


The Museum of Communications

As described at String Can Phone:

The Museum of Communications is a no-frills homage to the history of conversing with others unhindered by distance. Located in Seattle, WA, the museum is a virtual warehouse of every communications device ever devised, including wired, indoors telephone poles. Of particular note is the display of six generations of fully-operational central office switch frames. We are so stirred upon seeing this collection that we are inspired to pick up our plastic, magically cordless telephone handset and ask the operator for Pennsylvania 6-5000.

dead link: http://www.museumofcommunications.org/

Fixed Link

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

As described at String Can Phone

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a small Los Angeles museum in the tradition of a late Renaissance Wunderkammern. We were alerted to it's existence having recently read a book about this obscure institution (Mr Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler), but being no where near Los Angeles to visit the place in person, we decided to use this newfangled Internet for a deskchair tour.

Museums as we now know grew out of the personal collections of wonder inducing stuff that men of affluence collected in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These were typically a hodgepodge of art, technology, and natural items — all seen as facets of God's wonderful creation. The MJT is such a collection, and imitates those wonder cabinets not just in scope but also in lack of fact checking. Truths, half-truths, fictions, and simply art all there to serve as an inspiration of wonder.